Launching his now-iconic footwear brand Aquazzura in 2011 to a super-saturated industry, Edgardo Osorio hit the shoe-sweet-spot almost instantly with his core focus on simplicity, wearability and uncompromising standards on style. With a resumé that includes iconic Italian fashion brands Salvatore Ferragamo, Roberto Cavalli and René Caovilla, the Colombian-born, London and Miami-raised designer has been winning the hearts (and feet) of women across the globe through his inimitable infusion of Italian craftsmanship with directional, yet classic design.
Adored by the A-listers and fashion pack alike, with a dazzling array of fashion awards, and now realising its very own ‘squad goals’ with the rise of the #AquazzuraGirls - from putting lace-ups firmly back on the style scene to making us fall for flats all over again, whether the Wild Thing sandals, the Belgravia and Christy, the Aquazzura effect is simply stratospheric. We get the latest from Mr Osorio himself…
"Designing shoes comes very naturally to me. I always had a passion for design, even as a child I was very creative, always doodling, drawing and dreaming and I think this contributed to my desire to be in design and fashion. I used to escape classes to read fashion magazines with my friends and so I knew fashion was meant for me. I started my career very young, at the age of 15, when I was still living in Colombia."
"I think it is because I grew up surrounded by women and I’m still very much a ladies man. I’m constantly feeding of the needs and wants of all my girlfriends from around the world. I try to give women what I think they want. I want them to feel and look amazing whenever they wear my shoes. I like to create things that women will fall in love with and enhance their natural beauty."
It all started four years ago. After over 10 years working for many different luxury brands, I decided to create my own brand following a very specific aesthetic and sensibility. I wanted a return to elegance. I thought the market was saturated with over-priced, chunky, heavy and over-designed shoes. After all the craziness seen in the past few years in shoes, women want to get back to wearing something more elegant, but in a new way. With Aquazzura I wanted to create a line of beautiful shoes that where sophisticated, beautifully made and that felt fresh and feminine. For me it’s not about creating sculptures or architecture, it’s about making women beautiful.
"The name comes from the Italian “Acqua Azzurra” which means blue water. I’ve always been in love with the sea and the sun. I wanted a name that evoked my love of Italy and reminded my love for Capri and all the sunny places by the water, even in the winter. It’s the idea of a modern dolce vita and a year round vacation lifestyle."
"I think Aquazzura aesthetic reflects the beauty and sophistication of a certain kind of Italian style that is never overdesigned or overdone. It’s about small luxury details that make something great, like everything else in life."
"I don’t think there is a specific kind of woman. Instead I am addressing the modern woman, one who probably has a hectic and active life. I think my customer loves to travel, has a taste for beautiful things and wants to enjoy life which is where the comfort factor comes in. I want women to be able to walk in my shoes all day and feel great, as opposed to change their shoes several times a day since they can’t walk in them."
"I’m a Latin man so I love to make women feel and look beautiful! When I design I always keep in mind a quote by by Oscar de la Renta; “You should always walk like you have three men behind you,” when I design I think you should have five!
"The problem is generally most beautiful shoes were always uncomfortable, so when I started my brand I knew I wanted to do something different. I hired a technician that has been making lasts and shoe constructions for over 40 years. Together we developed a last and shape that fits better on the foot and distributes the weight of the body not only on the ball of your foot, but also in the arch and the back. Also most importantly we put extra padding with a memory foam on the soles so it’s softer when you walk. Additionally all my shoes tend to be very light and soft, as I was tired of women wearing heavy chunky shoes."
"I think it has become fashionable to be in flats, It’s very elegant and modern to wear flats with a cocktail or evening dress. It gives the outfit and extra edge.
"As a footwear designer, when women approach me and they are wearing flats they often apologise for not wearing heels. So my aim is to create flats that are as chic as heels - flats you don’t have to apologise for. Aquazzura flats are so popular because they are sophisticated flats. Not only are they very comfortable but they elevate your outfit. You can wear them and you can be chic but comfortable at the same time. Many stores have been selling out of my Christy and Belgravia flats because there’s not such a wide offering of sophisticated flats intended for this use."
"It was a pleasure since Ferragamo had never done a capsule collection before using another designer’s name and, considering such a long history, it was a great honour and a challenge as well."
"It was something that come into existence very naturally. I kept relationship with the Ferragamo family throughout the years, they have attended some of our events and we are also neighbours in Florence. They approached me wanting to do something different, something exciting to celebrate the 100 years of the creation of the brand. To me, it was a pleasure since Ferragamo had never done a capsule collection before using another designer’s name and considering such a long history it was a great honour and a challenge as well."
"I’m a big shoe buyer. I love wearing loafers, car shoes and espadrilles."